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Born in Ecuador, Marco V. Avila earned his civil engineering degree at the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Newark College of Engineers.

A project manager for WSP USA, a professional services firm that provides management and consultancy services to builders, Avila is past president of the Chesapeake section of the American Society of Highway Engineers and of the Engineers Club of Baltimore. Based in Canada, WSP has offices throughout the United States, including in Baltimore.

What is the most important thing you do on your job?

At the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, we help Maryland’s Hispanic small businesses by providing education, mentorship, networking, policy and scholarships.

At WSP, I’ve been involved in mega-infrastructure projects in Maryland, including the I-95 express toll lanes, the intercounty connector, the Harry Nice Bridge replacement and the Purple Line Metrorail project.

Who was your most significant mentor, and what did you learn from this person?

My mentor was my Dad. I’ve learned that hard work pays off.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be  doing?

I believe I would be a doctor. I always wanted to be a doctor, but since I paid my own way through college, I could not afford it. I became a civil engineer and I love it; you make a difference with infrastructure for our communities.

I do volunteer with the Healing Hands Foundation annually on a couple of medical missions. I am one of the co-founders and the CEO. We provide free surgeries for children with birth defects — clef lips/pallets, hernias, burns, etc.